This program is a collaborative effort involving directors, principals, teachers, community members, local businesses, volunteers, and of course students! The mission of the project is not only to inspire and educate students and teachers from the participating school network to become responsible citizens who conserve and protect the natural environment, but also, to reach out as a leader with a role model project for other schools and school boards across Canada to become involved with Environmental Education and Outdoor Life Skills while supporting the implementation of curriculum from the Quebec Education Program. It will promote leadership skills and individual excellence as well as education for citizenship and community life.
The Institute for Earth Education states that “students who do not have routine exposure to outdoor/environmental experiences up to the age of 12 years, do not care about nature or the environment when they reach adolescence or adulthood” (Institute for Earth Education, 1983). A growing body of research suggests that regular contact with nature is as important to children and youth as good nutrition and adequate sleep (Council of Outdoor Educators, 2007). Recent research indicates a long list of great benefits to the learner, however most importantly, it is firmly believed by leading Canadians that early, sequenced, and repeated exposure to outdoor/experiential activities develops powerful, knowledgeable proactive, and life-long stewardship for our students’ for a healthy and sustainable future(Robert Bateman, Thomas Homer- Dixon and David Suzuki, 2006).
The purpose of this program is to implement a comprehensive across all grades (Kindergarten to Secondary 5) sequence of school based activities which combine the three domains of the ‘Outdoor Education Learning’ model: Environmental Awareness, Environmental Education and Outdoor Life Skills.